Author – Lefentse Nokaneng
On 11 January 2024, South Africa took a decisive moral stance by bringing a case of genocidal intent against Israel at the International Court of Justice. This action reverberated across the entire world, transcending mere political discourse. It wasn’t merely a matter of moral solidarity on the international stage; rather, it symbolized the unified voice of countless people in Gaza, Israel, and across the globe. This collective outcry served as a resolute affirmation: Human life, regardless of race or religion, possesses inherent value, and human freedoms are inviolable – they transcend geographic boundaries and ideological divides.
Some countries in the so-called democratic free world, which are now criticizing South Africa for its stance, fail to comprehend a fundamental truth: extending good faith and justice towards all nations fosters peace and harmony. However, harbouring sympathy for a favoured nation while ignoring human injustices and the virtues of liberty and humanity, which are the cornerstones of the free world, leads to unimaginable evils. This is evidenced by the persistence of trade relations with the apartheid government by nations of the free world, regardless of its egregious nature, for over four decades despite repeated humanitarian calls for sanctions to free our people. Such disregard for human rights and moral principles tarnishes the credibility of democratic values and undermines efforts to promote global justice and equality.
In a fractured world rife with conflict and discord, South Africa’s principled stance offers hope for the people of Palestine, Israel, and the entire global community. It stands as a testament to the enduring power of moral conviction, delivering a clear message to the world: in the face of injustice and oppression, silence is not an option. As South Africans, we are acutely aware of the suffering endured during one of the most heinous crimes against humanity – Apartheid.
South Africa’s moral stance goes beyond legal outcomes, resonating deeply with the voices of the voiceless. It underscores the universal truth that an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. By drawing attention to their plight, it ignites our collective consciousness, urging people and nations to renew their commitment to a world where human rights are upheld, and people can live without fear of violence.
The South African government has not wearied in advocating for the plight of the most vulnerable, including children and women, seeking a peaceful resolution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Despite facing criticism from some quarters in the developed world and encountering open animosity and dismissive attitudes in the media, South Africa has remained steadfast in its appeals for peace and justice.
Ultimately, South Africa’s courageous stance serves as a poignant reminder of our shared humanity and collective duty to uphold principles of justice, equality, and compassion, ensuring that human rights are honoured, and justice prevails for everyone. As future generations reflect on the actions we took, decisions made by the ICJ, and the Israel-Palestinian conflict, they will find us on the right side of history, firmly standing alongside those nations that supported us, having upheld the universal values of Ubuntu (Humanity).
About Brand South Africa
Brand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness. Brand South Africa’s primary focus is to develop and implement proactive, coordinated marketing and communications reputation management strategies for South Africa. Our main objective is to market South Africa to both domestic and international audiences, positioning South Africa as a competitive investment destination, and inspiring and instilling active citizenship amongst South Africans.